Saturday, 31 October 2015

My New VW T4 Transporter Daily Driver.

This weeks blog is slightly different from the normal Volkswagen show / event reviews that  I post, this weeks blog entry is all about my new daily driver, a 1999 2.5tdi VW T4 Transporter. My regular readers will know that for a few months now I have often mentioned on my blog that I really like the T4 Transporter and that I could easily have one but that would mean selling my early bay to raise the money to buy one, and that just isn't going to happen !!. Then one day it dawned on me why don't I just sell my current daily driver, a 2002 Honda HRV and buy a T4 to use as a daily driver? the idea seemed so simple, and it meant I didn't have to sell the my beloved 1969 Microbus, I couldn't understand why hadn't I thought of it before! The main reason I wanted a T4 is that some of the shows / events I attend (and would like to attend) can be a round trip of 200 miles plus, so that either means going in the early bay which would be slow and cost a fortune in petrol, or go in my HRV (and going to a VW show in a Honda isn't really the done thing!). By having a converted T4 would mean I could get to the far away shows in a decent time frame and with reasonable economy and still be able to camp over in a Volkswagen should I choose to do so. A friend of mine on Facebook Vince Murr, has owned numerous T4's in the past and also sold a few so I thought he'd be a good person to ask about getting a T4 and what to look out for when buying one as I know nothing about the T4 Transporter. Anyway I got in touch with Vince and he said he had just finished building a T4 that for sale at the moment with a full camping interior at a very reasonable price, and when he sent me a photo I just thought, yep, that's the one for me! 
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

This is the photo Vince sent me, and the look
of this camouflage bus appealed to me straight
away. Before I bought it, Vince changed the
wheels for a set of black Audi wheels and fitted 
a full height bonnet bra, but it still looks as good.

My new T4 from side on, although the bus has 
the camouflage decals which normally blends
the vehicle into the background, this one seems
to stand out!

Vince applied all the grey and black vinyl
decals by hand which I think looks awesome. I 
think this may be a classed as a 'Marmite' bus, 
and as the saying goes "either you'll love it, or 
you'll hate it".

The bus has a tailgate rather than double doors
which is a bonus as it can provide some
protection from the rain if needed. Vince left
the back of the rock and roll bed open, rather than 
boxing it off as this provides more accessible
storage space with easier access.

Vince fitted the interior himself and I have to
say it is to a very high standard. The double
cupboard doors in the side unit will provide very
useful storage space when I'm away for the
weekend camping at a VW show.

The main interior is again finished to a very
high standard. It has a low unit which houses
a double ring gas cooker and a sink with an
electric pump water system. It also has a
removable table and it's fully insulated and has
been carpeted. A unique matching camouflage
headliner has also been fitted.

The original T4 seats have also been replaced
with these bucket seats which are much more
comfortable than the originals. The passenger
seat is also mounted on a swivel base to enable
it to be turned round to face the main living area.

A quick look under the low cooker unit. The gas
bottler is secured as will be the water container. 
The small box in the gas cupboard is a fuse box 
which Vince installed to which I intend to connect 
the planned new interior LED lighting to.

The gas rings and sink are both brand new
and as yet unused, but I'm sure they will both
 get plenty of use in the future as I am partial 
to a cup of tea with a bacon and egg roll while
out and about at a VW show, it's just a shame 
to get them dirty by using them! The tinted 
glass covers simply lift up when access 
is required.

The brand new 3/4 size rock and roll bed simply
 folds down and looks very comfortable and as
yet, it is also unused but likewise I'm sure the
bed will get plenty of use. I do like the black and
grey vinyl on the bed. Again there is plenty
more storage space under the bed.

The rear side unit has a large cupboard door
to gain access into the huge storage space.
These units are really good quality and I should
be able to get years of use out of them.

This is how my bus looks now with it's new
full height bonnet bra and the black Audi wheels
with low profile tyres. All that's left is to get out 
and about in it with plenty of camping planned 
for next year. It also means I will be able to
go to the one day shows which in the past
 have been to far to travel to in the early bay.
I would also like to try some wild camping in
my favourite part of the world, Devon and 
Cornwall where the scenery is absolutely 
stunning. Keep an eye out for me at VW shows 
next year and if you see me, come over and 
say hello, I may even put the kettle on!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Westside Treffen Show 2015.

This week's blog review is all about a show I read about on Facebook, It was called The Westside Treffen Show 2015. The show had it's own Facebook page and was to be held at Chalfont Park, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire SL9 0QA on Sunday 27th September from 09.00am. To be honest I didn't know much about this show, but as a few friends of mine on Facebook said they were attending, and as the weather promised to be sunny, and as the location for the show the show was only 22 miles from my hometown I decided to have a drive over to check it out. I set off around 08.30 and the sun was already shining so even if the show turned out to not as good as I hoped it would be it would at least be a nice drive out in the bus. Westside started off as a group of close friends and family from the West part of London who all shared a common interest, the VW group of vehicles. After visiting modified car meets such as Chelsea cruise and Club GTI meets in Park Royal in the early 1990s, the group grew in numbers and regularly attending the GTI international and GTI Festival events. The group soon became the focus of attention of the Magazines at the forefront of the car tuning world. These magazines were soon knocking at the door to find out what all the fuss about Westside was all about. Soon Max power, Performance VW and Revs magazine were featuring the Westside cars. 20 years on and after being regular visitors to the European scene they now have a fantastic following picking up prizes for some of the best VW’s in the world. In 2008 they held the first now annual show with increasing numbers of attendance year on year. Westside continues to dominate the UK and European scenes with numerous features and articles in the motoring press and TV to this day. To be honest I knew none of this before I headed off to the show which was really for modified water cooled VW's, and while I can truly appreciate the time and effort, and not to mention all the money the owners have invested into their cars, they aren't really my thing. There were however a number air cooled VW's at the show and these are what I concentrated my photo's on.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

I arrived at Chalfont Park quite early, but even
arriving early the park was already crammed
with modified cars. I drove around the site and
parked the bus up at the end of a line of really
immaculate Mk1 Golf's.

This silver 1970 beetle looked great with it's
cool windscreen visor, headlight peaks and the
U.S style towel rail bumper.

This really was a nice clean and straight bug.
I did like the rear pop out windows and the
unusual wheel choice which suited the car
perfectly and gave it an old skool look.

This early 1960's bug looked fantastic in it's
grey paint. The super low stance along with
those Fuchs style chrome wheels helped this
unassuming bug to stand out.

This bug was super straight and super clean,
I did like the Paris sunroof and the pop out
rear windows.

As you would expect the interior was also super
tidy. The red vinyl seats with matching red and
grey door cards made the interior something
special. I did like the wood rim steering wheel
with the 'Wolfsburg' logo centre cap.

Moving around to the back of this lovely bug,
The engine lid was open to show off this clean
detailed engine.

This lovely 1972 late bay caught my eye with it's
distinctive single coat of silver paint. This bus
had been lowered and with those low profile
tyres on the custom wheels it looked even lower.

I did like the 3 bow roof rack and the bicycle
carrier on the back. The black painted bumpers
add just enough contrast to the colour scheme.

This gorgeous T4 wasn't flash or fancy, it was
just a nice clean, straight bus and I loved it.
As I was wandering around the show this 1965
split screen rolled up. It looked great as it slowly
cruised past all the water cooled VW's trying
to find a place to park up. More on this splitty
later in the blog.

Around mid morning I spotted this super bright
orange 1975 late bay cruising around show 
looking for a place to park. I told him there was a 
spot next to me and gave him directions to where 
I was parked up.

This pop top bay really was a nice clean bus.
The bright orange paint showed off the straight
panels and it looked amazing. 

A pair of air cooled bay window buses parked
up in the shade at Westside Treffen. To be
honest the air cooled bugs and buses didn't
really get much attention, well they wouldn't at
a water cooled orientated show, would they?

A gorgeous line up of MK1 Golf's. Each one was
immaculate, and had many man hours of work
on them. The standard of these cars in amazing.

This tough looking Dodge was parked up next
to a traders tent. I think they were selling
performance parts, although I could be wrong.

The perfect black gloss paint gives off an almost
perfection reflection from those super straight
body panels. I did like those huge chrome
wheels with the low profile tyres.

This Dodge looked super tough from the rear.

This lovely low MK1 Caddy pick up caught my
eye, it's super straight body finished in that
brilliant white and those amazing wheels.

This Caddy sat really low as this photo clearly
shows. This must have been riding on air, or
had extremely hard suspension as the tyres 

were only a couple of millimetres from the 
wheel arches.

This orange 1981 MK1 Golf was outstanding.
The attention to detail on this car was amazing.
It had, like the majority of the Westside cars
been lowered almost to the max.

This 1966 Beetle looked stunning in the sun-
shine. I do like chrome headlight grilles on an 
early beetle, as I think they suit the car perfectly.

This really was a nice clean and straight bug,
the deck lid luggage rack looked the perfect
period accessory as did the U.S style all red
rear light lenses. 

You can see just how low this bug sits from this
photo, you can also see just how straight the
body panels were on the gorgeous '66.

The interior of this early bug was as clean as
the outside. The restored seats and door cards
looked amazing, as did the ivory steering wheel.
I did like the bamboo under dash shelf which not
only looks cool, but also provides much needed
storage space.

OK it's not a VW but this 1971 MK1 Ford Escort
was so straight and clean it didn't look out of
place at the Westside Treffen show.

The Escort had the 'RS' interior, I'm not sure if
this was a real RS or not, but it didn't really matter
if it wasn't as it was such a lovely car.

The rear quarter panel on the MK1 Escort, this
car was so straight and the paint was so good
if gives off an almost perfect reflection. The paint
was so shiny it looks as though it's still wet.

The MK1 Ford Escort was produced from 1968
- 1975, although production of the Escort in
various models continued until 2004, but in my
humble opinion the MK1 was by far the best.

J.L. Audio were at the show with their amazing
custom beetle. J.L. Audio supply mobile audio
systems, including sub woofers an amplifiers.
I have never seen so many speakers in a car.

The paintwork on this beetle is really cool and
it certainly gets noticed. Those banded steel
wheels look great.

The rear window and side windows have been
replaced with steel sheet and give this bug a 
one off look. 

Inside the J.L. Audio bug the interior was just as
cool as the outside. The orange vinyl interior was
crammed with speakers.

Behind the seats were the biggest car speakers
I had ever seen.

This lovely looking VW Golf in the famous Gulf 
racing colours looked great.

This brown 1976 Audi 80 was an amazingly
straight car. This must had had a full restoration
as it was so clean.

Those custom wheels look great against the
body colour. This Audi (the B1) was produced
from 1972 - 1978.

Another V.A.G. car at the show was this lovely
bronze Audi 50 LS. Again, this was another 
stunning example of a lovely car. The 'LS' and
 'GS' models had the larger 59bhp engine.

This Audi 50, had French registration plates on,
but I'm not sure if this in an import or whether the
owner just puts these plates on for the show.
This really is a lovely un-restored example of
this classic car.

This is the 1965 split screen that I saw driving 
into the show from earlier in he blog. I did like 
the look of this bus, it wasn't pristine but it was 
very desirable. I did like the full length sun roof 
and custom wheel choice.

Attention to detail is the name of the game and
small touches like the chequered design inside
the headlight help make this bus stand out.

This bus was a bit RAT looking, but that just
gives the bus some character and adds to the 

charm of this lovely bus.

Parked up next to the lovely spilitty was this
gorgeous early 1960's beetle. This bug did look
good with all the period accessories, and it's
super low stance.

This photo shows just how low this beetle sits,
and just how much negative camber the rear
banded steel wheels have.

This really was a nice looking bug. I did like the
 rear window blind, the U.S style towel rail
bumpers the period roof rack with accessories.

Just one of the period accessories on the bugs
roof rack, a lovely old 'Speedwell' Jerry can.

Another lowered MK1 Caddy, this time in gloss
black with decals on the doors. This Caddy, as
were all the other cars that were part of the
Westside group, was so clean and the attention
to detail was amazing.

Cool graphics's on the Caddy's doors.

The bed of this super straight Caddy had been
fitted out with chequer plate which was in stark
contrast to the shiny black gloss body panels,
and looked fantastic. I did like the netting that
replaced the old tailgate

Another period Jerry can in the back of the
Caddy. This time is an old 'Shell' Aviation spirit
can with the price of 3/- (three shillings!)

Looking in between 2 rows of Westside owners

Just a few of the MK1 Golf's on display at the
Westside Treffen show 2015. Each one was
different in looks but they all had had so much
time and money spent on them.

This gorgeous 1970 squareback looked great
in it's single red colour. I did like those chrome
Fuchs style wheels which compliment the
bright red paint perfectly.

This super straight Type 3 really was to show
standard. The type 3 was produced from 1961
to 1973 and came in 3 main body styles, The
Squareback, a fastback and a notchback and
either had the 1500cc or the 1600cc engine.

This Squareback had some pretty cool pin-
striping on the bonnet and....

...some neat sign writing on the rear door. That
lovely chrome bumper looked like new.

My 1969 VW Microbus and the orange late bay
just getting some shade at the Westside Treffen.

The J.L. Audio beetle looking good in the sun-

The reflection of the J.L. Audio beetle is almost
perfect on the super straight body panel of one
of the Westside Club's cars.

OK, this Aston Martin DB9 isn't a V.A.G. motor
but that didn't matter. This gorgeous DB9 is 
made largely of aluminium and has the 6 litre
V12 motor which can propel this car from 0-60
mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of around
296km/h (183 mph).

The DB9 was first unveiled at the 2003
Frankfurt Motor Show and was available as a
coupe or a convertible. Customers also had
a choice of a manual or automatic gearboxes.
When my numbers finally come up on the
Lottery, I will have one of these DB9's.

So that was a brief (air-cooled) review of the
Westside Treffen 2015. The show is mostly
for custom / modified water cooled vehicles
(although there were plenty of air-cooled
VW's there) If you're into the modified water
cooled car scene then I suggest you take a
look at this show next year, you will not
be disappointed.